fri 19/07/2019

CD: Morrissey and Marshall - And So It Began Again Acoustically | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Morrissey and Marshall - And So It Began Again... Acoustically

CD: Morrissey and Marshall - And So It Began Again... Acoustically

Close harmony for troubled times

Pitch perfect music for Dry January and beyond

Well this is a treat. Darren Morrissey and Greg Marshall, London-based Dubliners who began their musical life in the fair city as front men of Deshonos, repeat the trick they worked with We Rise (2017), returning to their 2014 debut album And So It Began Again and re-recording an all-acoustic version.

Called (not too surprisingly) And So It Began Again… Acoustically, the album was recorded as-live in the studio – two guitars, two voices plus some overdubbed oohs and aahs. And three bonus tracks: “Plastic Jack” and “Martha” which didn’t make the final cut of the 2017 original, plus an exhilarating cover of “A World Without Love”, the Lennon-McCartney number that was a number one hit in both Britain and the United States for Peter and Gordon. Peter was of course Peter Asher, brother of McCartney’s then girlfriend Jane. Paul thought the song, written when he was a teenager, not up to standard for The Beatles but, as Morrissey and Marshall remind us here, it’s a great song  with a typically adventurous chord sequence and those major/minor chord changes which point up the pathos of the lyrics and ensure the melody lodges in the brain.

“A World Without Love” shows off the Morrissey and Marshall pipes to great effect and its instant familiarity makes it very appealing. But And So It Began Again… Acoustically is a strong album of otherwise original material by a talented duo. The music is pregnant with the influence of so much great Sixties pop – turns of tune and phrase and harmony that remind you of the Everly Brothers or Simon & Garfunkel (“You Are Who You Are”) and, on “In Need of Guidance”, The Hollies and occasionally The Kinks. “I’ve Got a Plan” suggests The Turtles while toward the end of the album “The Mantra” briefly conjures up the spirit of George Harrison.

The songs have shape and structure, sometimes arresting chord progressions, and there’s some nifty lead guitar. Melody lines are inventive and wide-ranging, voices pushed to the top of their range without wandering out of tune. The tight harmonies are exhilarating.

At a time when pretty much anything can be electronically fixed and faked, this is a refreshing and compelling opus. It’s perfect for so-called Dry January’s detox – but I’ll be playing it in the other 11 months of the year as well.

At a time when pretty much anything can be electronically fixed and faked, this is a refreshing and compelling opus

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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